Wednesday, January 22, 2014

MIA

I think it's safe to say that this page hasn't gotten any lovin' in a while. I'll take the blame- and no excuses this time. I've just been neglecting it the same way I've been neglecting the ideas in my head.

It's been more than two months since I've written anything more than a blog post. I've been stuck in this cloud of writer's block and self-doubt.
Can I do this? 
Am I good enough?
It's not like I have a college degree for it, like most authors do. Hell, I don't have a college degree at all. I've learned all I have from teaching myself, and even then I know that I have a lot left to learn. I'm young, only 23, and it's not like I've experienced a lot in my short life. But the thing is, I have these ideas in my head- these characters that appear in my dreams and sort of take on a life of their own, and I feel like I have on obligation to get them on paper.

Whether or not people read them isn't the point. I guess I write to purge my mind- to make room for new ideas and new worlds by giving life to characters like Logan and Nathan. That was an entirely different situation, however. Logan came to me like a flash of lightning and I literally had her pinned from the beginning. Nathan was a bit more complex and thus his story took longer. But this new idea I have? These new people? They're complicated.

I've had to do a lot of research for this new book, and I guess that's where I start to question myself.
Will I do these character's justice? 
Will I give their stories the reality they deserve?
Whether I'm writing a book or blogging on my other blog, my main goal is to be relateable. I want people to read what I've written and say, "Yep, been there, done that." And I think Said and Done will be my most significant writing yet. (The blurb is super vague for now...)

Anyways, I hope to be on here more often and writing more often. I think I've finally got a good thing going. Now it's just about sticking with it.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Release Date, Donate!

I've finally finished Tailspin, but the work is far from over. Now it's time to edit, re-edit, and edit some more. Oh, and eventually publish.

Speaking of publishing, the release date is FRIDAYSEPTEMBER 13TH. (I did that on purpose, if you're wondering.)

On my other, more personal blog, I wrote a post for a friend/about a friend, who's going through a heartbreaking trial. If you'd like to read it, click here. The reason I am telling you this is because all of the proceeds in the first month (Sept. 13-Oct. 13) will be donated to this wonderful family.

Down syndrome and cystic fibrosis aren't things I know much about, and even though I don't know all there is to know, I do know that it won't be easy for Amber and her family; financially, emotionally, physically, or spiritually. I'm hoping that together we can lift some of the burden of their backs. 

I know that some of you may not know this family. Probably most of you. The way that I see it; this can happen to anyone. It could be you or your best friend or your sister or your brother... You get the idea. The book will be listed at 2.99, which means that two dollars will be donated from each one that sells. It may not be a lot, but 2x10 is 20 and 2x20 is 40 and 2x40 is 80.. Every little bit counts.  

Mark your calendars, keep a look out on Amazon, and don't forget to spread the word!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Progress

It's been a while since I've written here, and I'm so excited to say that I've made a lot of progress since my last post!

  1. I'm almost finished with Tailspin!! *happy dance* It's been such a crazy ride this time around. I know so much more about writing and the writing world than I did with Toxic, and I think that kind of played against me. You know that whole ignorance is bliss thing. With Toxic I just wrote and pushed the publish button- with Tailspin, there's writing and plotting and editing and blah blah blah.
  2. And then there's a cover. Toxic's cover was simple. I think I found it before I even started writing. I wanted something that was emotional, somewhat desperate and dark. Logan was a troubled girl and I wanted the cover to portray that. Nathan, though, is so complex and multi-faceted. He's supposed to be good, to represent good things, and I didn't want the cover to be dark like Toxic's. At the same time, he has a lot going on and not everything is in the light. Both he and Logan have secrets, and I wanted the cover to show the hidden parts of both of them. 
  3. While Toxic is still selling, it's not selling a lot. Which is fine- I was never in it for the money. I haven't really done any self-promoting or marketing, and I figured, why not? So this past week I've been reaching out to blogs and popular Goodreads reviewers and asking them to read and review Toxic. I don't know if it'll help get it more out there, but it'll be nice to have some more feedback either way. 


A few of the blogs that have reviewed Toxic are going to be hosting a cover reveal for Tailspin, on Friday August 16th. You can head over to Hook Me Up Book Blog, Three Chick and Their BooksBehind Closed Covers to be the first to see the cover and read a sneak peek from Tailspin.

I'm hoping to have the manuscript done in two weeks, and then I'll be getting it out to beta-readers. Speaking of, where can I find a few of those? I supposed I'll cross that bridge when I get to it...


Monday, July 1, 2013

Easy Breezy

Okay. The plan was to be done with Tailspin by the end of this month...as in June...as in it's not going to happen because I'm not even halfway through. I thought it would be easy breezy; it's basically Toxic from Nathan's POV.

But it's not.

It's so much more.

Nathan is such a complex character; he's a guy who's lost everything he's ever known, whose world is turned upside down in one single night. He's forced to change the way he thinks, the way he reacts to situations. A lot of the time I struggle with the would a guy really think this? thing, but he's not a normal guy. He's a twenty year old bachelor turned bar owner/parent. The responsibility of caring for his family, of providing for them falls solely on his shoulders.

"I don't know what I need...I want to comfort them. I want to leave them. I want to forget everything."

I'm definitely making progress, and I'm super happy with it. So many questions and hazy situations will be answered and cleared. Logan, through most of Toxic, was high and unable to understand what was going on around her. We're left wondering what happens between Nathan and Danny in Nathan's house. How does Logan end up in the hospital, and ultimately in rehab? Who finds her grandmother for her?

"This when I realize that, despite the fact that I've known her for all of two days and ignoring that she's a conflict of interest, Logan has gotten underneath my skin."

Nathan, while he is understanding and compassionate, struggles with making the right decision more often than not. Boundaries will be blurred; lines will be crossed, and at the end of the day, he will have to decide what is more important to him; saving Logan or saving himself.

"I want to be the one who puts the smile on her face and the peace in her heart. I want to be the one who lights up her whole f*cking world."

Even though this will be my second self-published book, I feel like I'm nowhere near prepared. Tailspin is still without a cover. I have to make the decision to either hire a editor or edit it myself (Toxic was self-edited.) Do I hire beta-readers? Do I enlist it in websites such as NetGalley? And if so, when? Do I fork over the money for adds on Goodreads? WHat kind of advertisement is worth it?

Every time I feel like I've made some progress, I remember how much road is left to travel. This is not easy breezy. But then again, nothing worth it ever is, right?

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Rocky Road

Lately, I've been craving something that I just can't put my finger on. And I'm not talking about food. There's been an ache in my soul for a certain kind of book, and while a few of the ones I have read lately were good, they just weren't it.

I don't know what it is I want.
And I'm finding that's the case with a lot of things in my life.

When will there be a number two? (when talking about babies)
Where should we buy a house?
Do you want to go back to work?
What will you do when you're finished writing (insert book name here)?

There aren't a lot of things that are certain in my life, except for my family and my writing, and I tend to cling to those things like white on rice. In a way, it provides a sense of risk. I don't make plans; I live each day as it comes, kinda like how we live paycheck to paycheck. It could be bad, it could be a negative aspect in my life, but I refuse to let it become a hindrance. Instead, I think of it as an adventure. A wild ride. A rocky road.

So when asked if I intend to write full time, I laugh. I don't intend to do anything. If it becomes something that can provide for my family, awesome. If not, well, I'll write anyways. Because it's what I like to do. And, because, I feel like I'm good at it and it makes me feel like I've accomplished something academically.

If you would have known me four years ago, in the peak of my senior year, you would have thought that I'd be the one graduating and going to some awesome college and getting some super useful degree. I was good at school, good at learning and doing and all that stuff. I was the one who got good grades without trying. I applied to three schools and got into all of them. And when I chose Nova Southeastern University, the school my father went to, I had high hopes for my future as en English major.

But it didn't happen.

I hated it. I hated being away from my family and friends, I hated living on campus and I hated the fact that it was nothing like in the movies/books. I ended up leaving after three weeks and then began my journey through state college and sucky ass jobs.

Life didn't turn out how I thought it would, and I always felt the need to prove people wrong.

They said I was too young to get married.
They said we were too young to have a baby.
They said I needed to go back to school.

But I didn't know what I wanted, and school didn't seem to be my dream any longer, and so I started to write, and in doing so, I'd like to think that I proved those people wrong, too. I like to think that I made something of myself, as a wife, a mother, and a writer. Those are the things that define me, and sometimes I like to add to that list.

Maybe tomorrow I'll be a painter. (doubt it, since I'm a really bad painter)
Maybe I'll pick up piano again, and become a pianist.
Maybe I'll join an adult soccer league, and become a soccer player.

I do know that I intend to live my life like a story. I intend to grab onto those ohshit handles and hang on while riding down this rocky road. Maybe I'll never really find the book to satisfy that craving, but I'll never stop searching, and I'll most likely never know what it's like to be a best-selling author, but it will never change the fact that I am a writer.

In the long run, it won't matter that I didn't know what I wanted, only that I never stopped searching for it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Updates

Today (or yesterday?) at midnight, the giveaway for Toxic ended...

And the results were fantastic! Over 900 people entered to win, with almost 700 of those people adding my book to their TBR lists. Yay for more traffic! And congratulations to the winners. You will be receiving your paperback copy soon!

So, this weekend was crazy busy, but I still managed to finish The Fault in Our Stars in, like, two nights. I could not put it down, even though I knew nothing good would come of it. The story, I mean. Suffice it to say that a book about teenagers with cancer is never going to be a happy book. But at the same time, it was a happy book. It made me laugh and it made me cry and to me, that's the most important thing; that it made me feel.

If you're interested, you can read my updates and full review here.

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the giveaway! Keep checking back for more Toxic news and Tailspin updates.

It's Monday! Which means you probably want more sleep, an alcoholic beverage of some sort, or both, but at least it's only four more days until the weekend!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Take a Chance (On Me)

So, a few posts ago I talked about a book that I wrote last year that I'm trying to get traditionally published. I've sent it to at least fifteen different agencies, six of which I'm still waiting to hear from and about six of which gave me straight up no's. As for the other three? No response, which I guess is their way of saying no.

The thing about this whole process is that it's entirely subjective. Most agents won't pick up something they're not personally interested in because they feel like they won't be able to market it properly. That doesn't necessarily mean that nobody will be interested in it, particularly the would-be buyers. At this point, so early on in the game, it's easy to give up. It's easy to put it aside and forget about it (like I have done for the past few months.) It's not that the no's get to me on a personal level. They really don't, surprisingly. It's just that taking the time to put together queries and synopsis(es?) for each and every agent is a lot of work. More work than the actual writing the book part, believe it or not.

Its' times like this, when I'm obsessively checking my email, waiting for a subject line to read RE: Query: Originals, that I begin to wonder if I should just suck it up and self-publish again. If I should forget about the dream of seeing my name on a bookshelf in Barnes and Noble and get it out there sooner rather than later. What can I say? I'm impatient.

As of right now, I will continue to query agents in the hopes that one will take a chance on somebody like me; a beginner, a technical nobody, a barely college student with no degrees or certificates or hardly an life experience.

That's not the way I see myself, of course. In my eyes Originals is the best damn YA apocalyptic/sci-fi book to grace the face of the earth. I realize I'm a tad bit biased, of course, and try to take a realistic approach to the world of publishing. But really, who knows what could happen? Anything is possible, right? Right?

Toxic is continuing to do well, nothing really exploding on the sales end, but I didn't really expect it to. It's a slow trickle, the methodic drip-drop of water from the bathroom sink in the middle of the night. (I finally revised the contents and the cover, making it read and look more professional.)
Tailspin is in the middle of a major brick-wall. It's hard writing from the perspective of a guy when you're not actually a guy, so I've often times found myself highlighting and deleting until there's almost nothing left. It's frustrating, but at the same time, I know that I'm learning as I go. (Cover in the works...still...possibly forever. I hate stock photography with a burning passion.)

Even though it's Friday, I'll let you know what I'm reading since I'm always reading. Especially on rainy days like this. (What's up with this weather, anyways? Sunshine state my ass.)

Hardback read:

This book has received an insane amount of positive reviews, which makes me leery yet excited to read it. In my experience, books with high ratings doesn't necessarily mean high quality. I guess I'll find out for myself soon enough. 
 
Kindle read:
 
Not gunna lie, I picked this one up mostly for it's cover. Oh, and it was free. It's a YA sci-fi, which used to be all I read, so I'm definitely excited about it, despite the 3.5 out 5 stars rating.                         
 
Hope your weekend is exciting! And maybe not as rainy as mine is predicted to be. TGIF?